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Denver and Rio Grande Railroad

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File:Denver and Rio Grande RR in Royal Gorge.jpg

The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad , also operating under the names of Denver & Rio Grande (Colorado, 1870-1923), Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway (Utah only, 1881-1889), and Rio Grande Western (Utah only, 1889-1908), operated from 1870 to 1988 and was principally a transcontinental bridge between Denver and Salt Lake City, but also extended into New Mexico. The rail line carried much of the coal and minerals of the region. In 1988 as part of a purchase, it merged with the Southern Pacific. Today, most former D&RGW main lines are owned and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad. [1]



File:Denver and Rio Grande Western System Map.PNG

Route map for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad

Settlers and Stations[edit | edit source]

The Denver & Rio Grande Western constructed its routes to tap two main industries: agriculture and mining. Settlers were attracted to nearby communities because the railroads provided access to employment and markets. Railroads encouraged settlement along their routes to help increase the need for their service. If an ancestor settled near a railroad, you may be able to trace their place of origin back to another place along the tracks. For the D&RGW, this list also shows communities that had important mines.

Depots and Stations (Partial List) [2][edit | edit source]

Colorado[edit | edit source]

Denver
Alamo
Alamosa
Anthracite
Antonito
Aspen
Baldwin
Blende
Bond
Boncarbo
Calumet
Canon City
Capers
Carbon Junction
Castle Rock
Castleton
Coal Creek
Colorado Springs
Craig
Creede
Crested Butte
Cuchara Junction
Delta
Dotsero
Douglas
Durango
Engleville
Englewood
Energy
Florence
Fort Logan
Gato
Glenwood Springs
Grand Junction
Gunnison
Hathaway
Hitchens
Ibex
Kubler
La Veta
Lake City
Leadville
Lehigh
Mayne
Mesa Verde
Minnequa
Monson
Montrose
Mustang
Newcomb
Oak Creek
Ojo
Oliver
Orestod
Orient
Ouray
Manitou
Pagosa Springs
Pandora
Parkdale
Parlin
Pictou
Pueblo
Quartz
Rouse
Salida
Sapinero
Silverton
Somerset
Tropic
Vasquez
Villa Grove
Walsenburg
Winter Park

New Mexico[edit | edit source]

Santa Fe
Chama
Farmington
Gallinas
La Madera
Lumberton
Taos Junction
Tierra Amarilla


Utah
[edit | edit source]

Salt Lake City
American Fork
Aurora
Bacchus
Barton
Bingham
Burgin
Castilla
Castle Gate
Cedar
Charleston
Cisco
Clear Creek
Clearfield
Colton (Pleasant Valley Junction)
Columbia Junction
Copperton
Cox
Cuprum
Detour
Dividend (Iron King)
Elberta
Elsinore
Ephraim
Eureka
Fairview
Farmington
Farnsworth
Floy
Garfield
Geneva
Gillully
Goshen
Green River
Gunnison
Heber
Helper
Hill Top
Holloway
Hooper
Indianola
Kaysville
Keigley
Kenilworth
Kyune
Laguna
Lark
Layton
Lehi
Magna
Mammoth
Manti
Mapleton
Marysvale
Mesa
Midvale
Mill Fork
Moroni
Mounds
Mount Pleasant
Murray
Mutual
Nephi
Nioche
Ogden
Olmstead
Orem
Park City
Payson
Pearl
Penitentiary
Potash
Price
Provo
Rains
Richfield
Riverton
Roper
Roy
Sagers
Salina
Sandy
Santaquin
Scofield
Sego
Sigurd
Silver City
Soldier Summit
Spanish Fork
Springville
Standardville
Sterling
Sugarhouse
Sunnyside
Thistle
Thompson Springs (Thompsons)
Tucker
Vivian Park
Wallsburg
Wash
Wasatch
Welby
Wellington
Westwater
Winter Quarters
Woods Cross
Woodside


Record Locations[edit | edit source]

Records for the D&RGW are scattered among holding institutions across its route, including but not limited to:

The principal repositories for the records of the D&RGW are the Colorado Railroad Museum, the History Colorado, formerly called the Colorado Historical Society, and the Denver Public Library. Other repositories that have some records about this rail line are the Utah State Historical Society, the Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society, the Pikes Peak library, Colorado College, and Fort Lewis College. [3]

Colorado Historical Records
[edit | edit source]

History Colorado’s holdings for the D&RGW include a manuscript collection, a photography collection, artifacts, and maps.

Manuscripts[edit | edit source]

The manuscript collection, MSS 513, is probably the most substantial at about 195 linear feet in size. The finding aid for this collection is available on their website. This finding aid describes the contents of the collection folder by folder. The majority of the collection is financial and legal records, but it also includes some personnel information, promotion, and other types of materials. The personnel records do not include records for each year, and several of the rosters will only list agents, bosses, and supervisors rather than a full roster of all employees. [4]

Utah State Historical Society

Photographs[edit | edit source]

The inventory for their photography collection is available online. The photographs themselves are available to view in person at the History Colorado library; the photographs have not yet been digitized.<ref name="email">

Maps[edit | edit source]

History Colorado has some plat maps attributed to the railroad, but this is not a comprehensive collection of settlements near D&RGW depots. To find these maps, search the library catalog. To go directly to the D&RG maps, try a Subject search for the term "Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company--Maps." There may also be maps included within the manuscript collection, and those will be noted on the manuscript finding aid.


Online Sources[edit | edit source]

  • drgw.net Dedicated to Presenting and Preserving the History of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denver_and_Rio_Grande_Western_Railroad (accessed 11 February 2014).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "List of Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad lines" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Denver_and_Rio_Grande_Western_Railroad_lines (accessed 11 February 2014).
  3. Hansen, Holly T, compiler. The Directory of North American Railroads, Associations, Societies, Archives, Libraries, and Museums, and Their Collections .Croydon, Utah; HT Holly Research Services: 1999.
  4. email from reference librarian at History Colorado, (received January 30, 2014).